After naming an unchanged line-up over Christmas for the first time in over two years, the manager took the chance to rest some of his players meaning the likes of Lingard returned.
Lingard impressed on United’s pre-season tour to America and was a surprising starter in the opening game of the season against Swansea.
But an injury shortly into the match curtailed his season and the midfielder hasn’t made an appearance in a match-day ever since.
Despite not making an appearance, it will still be a welcome return for Lingard and fans will enjoy seeing another of their youth products return to the first team squad.
The 22-year-old was thought to have a bright future at the club after emerging in pre-season alongside Adnan Januzaj under David Moyes and an impressive loan spell with Birmingham emphasised that belief.
But the injury was a huge blow given the faith his new manager had shown in him and at 22, time will be ticking on whether Lingard is going to fulfil his talent at Old Trafford or be moved on elsewhere as van Gaal continues to rebuild his squad.